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gumby
gumby Reader
3/2/19 8:21 p.m.

Wow, I wasn't paying attention when this thread took a turn.
I see that I am too late to welcome you to the small six club, as that has already past. One day soon, I am going to start my small six build in earnest. Parts gathering stage is about to roll into build season....

 

I have had a couple old Panthers('77 Ranchero, and '79 T-top Tbird). I dunno that you will get to 3k lbs with anything left that resembles street legal, but am eager to see where this goes.

barefootskater
barefootskater Dork
3/3/19 3:50 a.m.

Budget tip: if you are swapping engines and you don’t want to put a new driveshaft into the budget you can take the two piece shaft from the donor van and make it a one piece with a little u-joint mix-and-match. 

(We work on the floor because there is a cj2 body taking up the whole bench). 

The real genius of the driveline hack (hehehe) is that you end up with a short shaft and are forced to install the engine and trans further back than the original unit, improving your weight distribution and (hopefully) handling characteristics. Anyone who says a 79 thunderbird can’t handle is probably right but we’re going to try anyway. 

barefootskater
barefootskater Dork
3/17/19 8:53 a.m.

Front clip off. Inner fenders weigh 20# each. Trunk hinges, springs and latch removed. Rear bumper removed. Each bumper was >100lbs no joke. Glass removed. Inner door skins removed and all the electronicals are gone. I didn’t get enough pictures. I’ll try to fix that later today.

 

barefootskater
barefootskater Dork
3/17/19 6:31 p.m.

barefootskater
barefootskater Dork
3/23/19 8:43 p.m.

So, because cheap, and also since I won’t be available to work on the Funderbird for about a month, my dad bought a big rusty distraction. 

barefootskater
barefootskater Dork
4/7/19 6:27 p.m.

So. How bad of an idea would a spool be for autocross?

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
4/7/19 7:13 p.m.

i want that truck. 

 

spool sucks on autocross. ive tried. once. 

barefootskater
barefootskater Dork
4/27/19 6:00 p.m.

Today started fairly early considering I have to drive half an hour to work on the car. Morning shot:

Progress

Still not quite as torn down as we need. But close. Violence and fire will be required from here forward. Also got some donor gears because 2.47:1 is not at all acceptable. 

Still open, but much better 3.50:1. Ideally the spline count is the same and we can drive to Gainesville on the stock gears and just switch 3rd members when we get there. Don’t know yet. Too beat to pull axles right now. Progress. 

barefootskater
barefootskater Dork
4/27/19 6:05 p.m.

Also these sn95 wheels fit, barely. 

barefootskater
barefootskater Dork
5/11/19 7:27 p.m.

Let me preface this by saying I am not an experienced welder. 

What we have is a 79 thunderbird. It is long. 115” wheelbase by my measurement. Dad says we should take the body off to make the engine easier to mount. Cool. Well then he says why don’t we make the car shorter by chopping some length out of the middle. “Slow down there partner, that’s a little scary. We have to drive this thing to Florida.” But then I got a good look at the frame. 

Exhibit A:

This is just in front of the rear wheels. That joint is where Henry II put the frame together by inserting the front section into the slightly larger rear section.

Exhibit B:

A closer look at the factory welds. The front portion was slid inside roughly an inch and they gave the job over to someone who I don’t think had welded before. Keep in mind that this was an expensive personal luxury car when new, from the biggest name in the auto industry. More bad welds:

Burned right through, didn’t you, Henry? And again

The short version is that while I was nervous to stitch a frame back together, I shouldn’t have been. Apparently any idiot can do it. 

barefootskater
barefootskater Dork
5/11/19 8:23 p.m.

Full of confidence knowing I couldn’t make it worse we got to work. 

Quick side thingy. Last month my parents got me an angle grinder for my birthday because they love me. Some folks have motorcycles, then the get friends with motorcycles and have even more fun riding motorcycles with their friends. This was like that only with death wheels. 

Anyway. Steps 1-48 were measure measure measure. Step 49 is tape:

50 is mark:

51 is measure more. Then came step 52:

Cut that E36 M3 like you’re dealing. Removing the offending length in the process  

Steps 53-60 were grinding, hammering, cleaning and drilling resulting in this:

Then wheel the whole mess closer to the 220 outlet so’s we can put it back together..

Measure some more, get out the ratchet straps and BFH, and keep measuring. 

Hard to see but the mark on the tape says 25”. I took ten inches out of herdevil

Remember when I said I’m not a welder? Well I did better than Henry II. 

Let it cool. Wheeled it back outside, and used the sawzall to remove more weight. Sprayed some primer to protect my work and measured it all again.

Still square. Winning. 

barefootskater
barefootskater Dork
5/13/19 1:35 p.m.

Because some days your project just involves a hose, a bucket, soap and wax. 1 year into ownership and no regrets. 

Nomad
Nomad Reader
5/13/19 9:40 p.m.

So those last posts really threw me for a loop. Chopping a frame seems to be the easy part, how the heck are you planning on eliminating that much of the middle of the car? Will the wheelwells be right at the rear edge of the door?  How's that body/chop and reweld going to work?

I was about to post that with the crazy rear roofline that looks like a good candidate for a truck conversion! Eliminate the rear section, loose the rear lid and tub it up with sheet metal! Heck, fiberglass in a removeable truck topper.

Catlas_Se7en
Catlas_Se7en New Reader
5/14/19 8:17 a.m.

So like, this thread had me really excited because I love the MX-6 but then I saw you scrapped it and got real sad. I'll be following just to see another MX-6 appear.

dculberson
dculberson UltimaDork
5/14/19 9:08 a.m.
barefootskater said:

Remember when I said I’m not a welder? Well I did better than Henry II. 

 

I'm going to have to disagree with you here. You are a welder. Those welds look fantastic.

barefootskater
barefootskater Dork
5/14/19 9:43 a.m.

In reply to Nomad :

In my mind the frame was the scary part because that is the foundation, and anything we could potentially screw up with the body would be held together by the frame. As for our plan to shorten the body, well we stole the idea from someone else:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUefSKCjP8w

Also the chop the back into a truck idea was floated around a lot.

In reply to dculberson :

Thank you sir.

solfly
solfly HalfDork
5/14/19 11:51 a.m.

what a rollercoaster of a thread

barefootskater
barefootskater Dork
5/14/19 2:07 p.m.
solfly said:

what a rollercoaster of a thread

Fickle. I put it in the title. Imagine how my wife feels laugh

solfly
solfly HalfDork
5/14/19 3:36 p.m.

Can we get like a cliff notes summary of everything thus far?

Bought Vette.

Traded for Mazda, gave up and scrapped Mazda.

Bought Fox Ford and?

Then bought bigger Ford and Chevy van 350/350 to put it bigger Ford then decided to shorten?

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
5/14/19 3:40 p.m.

In reply to solfly :

Thats the way it reads to me! Kinda like a mad libs version of a build thread 

barefootskater
barefootskater Dork
5/14/19 3:55 p.m.

In reply to solfly :

Bought Vette, traded for Mazda. Gave up on Mazda. Bought Mercury fox, sold to sister. Scored free Thunderbird, bought Chevy van for 350/TH350 combo. Ended up being 400/TH350C. Decided to shorten thunderbird. In a nutshell. There is some other stuff in there because it is my thread and I'll do with it whatever I want.

Just trying to party.

solfly
solfly HalfDork
5/15/19 8:10 a.m.

could you use a 4 door front door to make up the difference in length?

barefootskater
barefootskater Dork
5/15/19 9:22 a.m.

In reply to solfly :

In theory,  though the tbird was only ever a 2 door, and I'm too lazy to look up if any other ford offerings used the same hinge points, latch point, and body lines. So for now we plan to just nip and tuck these doors down to size. Doors are gutted now, only thing left is mirrors and side impact bars. Including glass we removed more than 40lbs from each door. The 3000lb goal is well within sight.

solfly
solfly HalfDork
5/15/19 9:31 a.m.

are you taking all the length out of the door opening?

Crackers
Crackers Dork
5/15/19 9:54 a.m.

Wow, I think I need to start following this more closely. LOL

I got excited when I saw the post about chopping it as I was already thinking about the roadkill episode. 

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